Five local residents compete in Boston Marathon

April 24, 2018

MARINETTE, WI – Five local residents recently competed in the oldest annual marathon in the world. Mark Jasper, Jessica LaPlant, Jenni Campbell, Natalie Anderson, and Winsert’s Laurie Tardiff all ran and finished the 122nd Boston Marathon on April 16th.

The weather was miserable with cold temperatures, strong winds, and freezing rain to deal with for the 26,948 runners that started the marathon. When it was all said and done, 25,746 runners finished and all created memories that are sure to last a lifetime. Specifically for Mark, having his daughter, Makennah, there made his experience extra special. We also asked Laurie, Jessica, Natalie, and Jenni if they could give us their insights on the marathon.

For Laurie, when asked about the effect the weather had on her performance, she responded with a quote from Guatama Buddha in saying that “endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.” She went on to describe her experience saying, “even though the weather conditions were not warm and welcoming, it was a magical experience running such a prestigious race. The fan’s loud screams carried me throughout the course. Their cheering made the down pouring rain and wind feel like nothing. The last left turn onto Boylston Street felt like I was running through a scream tunnel. I cannot describe how great it was to be surrounded by such love and high spirit. It was worth every bit of discipline to train all winter. I hope to be back again one day. Set goals, be persistent and practice perseverance.”

Jessica said the whole experience was surreal. “It really hasn’t sunk in yet that I’m a Boston Marathoner. Even with perfect conditions, a marathon is hard. Throw in cold temperatures, pouring rain, and 30-40mph head winds and it is even harder. The streets were lined with spectators that chose to be out in these conditions to cheer strangers on. Seeing this, I ran with a smile on my face most of the 26.2 miles. That and knowing how super proud my kids are of me made every wet, cold mile worth it! My finishing time was 3:45:39.”

To Natalie, it was hands down one of the most amazing experiences. “I wouldn’t change anything about it, not even the weather; this will be one that I will never forget. I was able to experience it with great friends and can’t wait to go back in 2019.”

For Jenni, this was her 3rd time running the Boston Marathon. “My 1st qualifier came in 2012 when I ran my 1st marathon. I also ran in 2014 & 2016. My goal of running Boston 3 times, one for each of our children, was completed last week. This year’s race was very humbling, I think that’s been the coldest I’ve ever been in my life; my hands weren’t functioning, I knew I needed to get to my sister at mile 21 to get a jacket to finish as my body was starting to really slow. Mentally, I have so much faith & inspiration to draw from, I credit that to so many people I am blessed to be surrounded by daily. Turning left on Boylston Street knowing you are soon crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon fills my heart with gratitude! Every mile is a gift. The beauty is that there is one course but 25,746 different participant stories about grit, perseverance, and heart. Early in the race as the rain came down & wind pushed against us a spectator yelled, “you choose this”. Those words resonated with me; he is right, “we choose this”, “I choose this” regardless of the conditions. Taking the 26.2 mile journey from Hopkinton to Boston was worth every step. Passion looks a lot like sacrifice to those who aren’t in love. Even better is having 5 people from our community there & there will be more to come.”

Congratulations to all for competing and finishing the Boston Marathon. We appreciate their time in sharing their experiences with us.